Jack Scharfenberg

Jack Scharfenberg

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US
This alien-like world is filled with hydrothermal pools that are some of the most extreme environments on the planet — and some of them seem to be completely devoid of life, according to a new study.The scientists analyzed all the genetic material found in the samples to identify any organisms living there.That means they took the sample and kept amplifying the DNA — imagine zooming into a picture — to see if there was a very small quantity that they'd missed.But the researchers hypothesized that this small amount of DNA is likely the result of contamination from a neighboring salt plain, brought from people who visit the area or wind.On the other hand, in the less extreme ponds, the researchers found a large diversity of microbes, again mostly archaea.What's more, using electron microscopes, the researchers also detected the presence of biomorphs or "mineral precipitates that can mimic tiny cells" in samples taken from both the lifeless pools and those found to harbor life, López-García said.
US
If you have a gamer in your life, it can be hard to know exactly what to get them as a gift.The first step is to figure out what platform they're playing on.If it's a PlayStation 4, you're in luck.Here are some gifts they'll love while they spend the next year waiting for the PlayStation 5.Be sure to check out our other buying guides, including our roundup of the best PlayStation 4 games every gamer should try.We also have guides for people using an Xbox One or the Nintendo Switch.
US
Now the service is live in the United States, and though it’s facing the sort of early speedbumps encountered by a restaurant packed with people on opening night, it’s already putting to shame Apple’s launch of Apple TV+ at the beginning of this month.For $7 per month, Disney+ offers users access to hundreds of movies and TV shows spread across five categories: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.While the Disney collection looks somewhat like the cable Disney Channel, all of the content is available on demand, including multiple seasons of past and current TV shows, plus decades of popular Disney films.Pixar’s collection of computer-generated films and shorts, virtually every Star Wars film and TV show, and most of the Marvel cinematic universe can be streamed, as well.On a positive note, if you’re using a 4K display on a high-bandwidth connection, you can experience all of the Star Wars films remastered in 4K resolution with cinema-quality audio.Episode one of the Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian is available now, as are The World According to Jeff Goldblum, Pixar in Real Life, and Marvel Hero Project, plus movies such as The Imagineering Story and Noelle.
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Chinese ecommerce titan Alibaba raked in a record $38.4 billion during its annual Singles’ Day online shopping extravaganza on Monday, beating last year’s figure by $7 billion.The total number of delivery orders during the world’s biggest shopping event also reached a new high: 1.3 billion, up from 812 million in 2018.Almost 300 brands each sold goods worth more than 100 million Chinese yuan ($14.3 million), including Apple, Nike, Estée Lauder, and Giorgio Armani, while the top 10 countries selling to China through Alibaba’s cross-border platforms included the U.S., Japan, Korea, Australia, Germany, France, the U.K., New Zealand, Italy, and Canada.— Alibaba Group (@AlibabaGroup) November 11, 2019Singles’ Day originated in China in the early 1990s as a way for those without a partner to enjoy special events together.The 11.11 date was selected for the occasion as it represents — you guessed it — a bunch of singles.
China
Chinese consumers collectively spent 158.31 billion yuan (US$22.63 billion) in the first nine hours of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza, scooping up everything from consumer electronics to luxury items and even cars.Alibaba’s Singles’ Day shopping festival, which falls on November 11 every year, is the world’s largest of its kind.While the company’s ecommerce marketplaces Tmall and Taobao are traditionally the mainstays of the annual shopping extravaganza, this year’s festival will also include business-to-business ecommerce platforms like AliExpress and Lazada, Alibaba’s Southeast Asian ecommerce subsidiary, as the company taps international consumers.At the open, the top five regions in mainland China in terms of transactions were Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shanghai, and Shandong.GMV for the Double 11 Global Shopping Festival is the total value of orders settled through Alipay on Alibaba’s consumer-facing core commerce platforms, as well as Lazada and AliExpress, within a 24-hour period on November 11.It is reported on a real-time basis and includes shipping charges paid, according to Alibaba.
US
Former Tropical Storm Nakri strengthened into a Typhoon in the South China Sea on Nov. 8.NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the region and found Nakri appeared more circular and more organized.Visible imagery from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite on Nov. 8 showed Nakri appeared more circular indicating it had intensified.The center of the storm was still west of the main Philippine Islands, and north of Palawan.Kalayaan is part of the Spratly Group of Islands, west of the largest island of Palawan.Nakri is known in the Philippines as Quiel.
US
Verifying a citation on Wikipedia can be as easy as clicking the online source linked within a page.But what if a citation calls back to a physical book instead, one you'd typically need to find at a library or bookstore?The Internet Archive and Wikipedia last week said they've teamed up to provide digital previews of books cited on Wikipedia pages, making it easier to find and verify those traditional text sources online.The Internet Archive has already turned 130,000 book references on Wikipedia into links to 50,000 digitized books."And we are just getting started," the Internet Archive said in a release."By working with Wikipedia communities and scanning more books, both users and robots will link many more book references directly into Internet Archive books."
US
As 2019 draws to a close, the latest flurry of ad-tech mergers and acquisitions is underway, this time with DoubleVerify writing the check for Ad-Juster.The announcement of the deal for an undisclosed amount comes the same week the Vanderhook brothers took back full control of Viant from Meredith and France-based investment group Fimalac announced a significant investment in Jellyfish.DoubleVerify CEO Wayne Gattinella said in a statement that combining Ad-Juster’s sell-side platform with his existing buy-side platform was the rationale behind the move.“The Ad-Juster acquisition furthers our goal of maximizing digital media quality and performance for advertisers while providing premium publishers with the transparency they need to compete in a consolidating marketplace,” Gattinella told Adweek.Meanwhile, Dennis Clerke, general manager for the Ad-Juster business unit, noted the pairing would enable them to offer “full lifecycle analytics for digital publishers.”There were 86 ad-tech mergers and acquisitions in the first three quarters of the year, according to data from Results International, with some of the more notable recent deals in the sector including Taboola’s takeover of Outbrain, AT Xandr’s purchase of Clypd and Roku’s purchase of demand-side platform Dataxu.
UK
Following an experiment where staff worked a four-day week for full pay, Microsoft Japan has revealed that sales were boosted by nearly 40 percent during the month in which the trial was run.The software giant's Japanese offices were closed on every Friday in August 2019 and full-time staff were given paid “special leave”.During the experiment, meetings were also restricted to a maximum of 30 minutes and employees were encouraged to have discussions online as opposed to meeting face-to-face.Japan has some of the longest working hours in the world and according to a 2017 survey, nearly a quarter of Japanese companies had their employees working more than 80 hours of overtime a month and these extra hours were often unpaid.Could 5G networks herald the arrival of a four-day work week?Of those employees who participated in Microsoft's Work Life Choice Challenge 2019, 92 percent had positive things to say about the experiment when they were surveyed after its conclusion.
US
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US
Apple Music’s discounted student plan will include access to Apple TV Plus once the service launches on Friday, November 1st.The added perk doesn’t raise the student plan’s price: it’s still $4.99 per month for full access to the music streaming service.The only real caveat is that, as always, you need to verify that you’re enrolled at a college of some sort to qualify for the discounted rate.Apple doesn’t usually like giving things away for free, or even at discounts, so the addition of Apple TV Plus to the student plan is somewhat surprising.It’s a smart addition, though.Apple needs to reach a mass of viewers if it wants to make the service into a truly profitable, sustainable business.
US
Hot on the heels of the pilot launch of Uber’s offering that combines rides, UberEats deliveries, bikes, and scooters in a single monthly plan, Lyft is kicking into high gear its effort to convert one-time users to subscription customers.To this end, it today took the wraps off of Lyft Pink, a new membership for riders with elevated access, savings, and perks designed to “unlock all their city has to offer.”Lyft Pink costs $20 per month — $5 cheaper than Uber’s plan, which is currently being tested in San Francisco and Chicago — and it offers a 15% savings on all car rides along with complimentary bike and scooter rides.“Lyft Pink is a no-brainer for regular riders who take 2-3+ rides per week and who are looking to make the most of their time and money,” wrote Lyft in a press release.With Lyft Pink, riders can travel smarter across Lyft’s transportation network of shared rides, bikeshare systems, electric scooters, car rentals and transit partnerships — all within one app.Ride Passes, which are currently invitation-only, grant access to a specific promotional value for a set number of rides taken during a certain timeframe (e.g., $5 off of 10 rides or $8 flat fare on 10 rides up to a $20 max ride charge).
US
Samsung’s recently announced One UI 2 beta program has given us a glimpse into its future version of Android 10.Because of this, we know Digital Wellbeing will support Focus Mode on devices like the Galaxy Note 10, and we can expect more apps to support dark mode.But Samsung will also deliver one feature we didn’t expect to see: Samsung’s version of the iPhone 11’s new Slofie (slow-motion selfie videos) functionality.Apple’s latest selfie camera gimmick is not exactly something customers have been begging for.Yet, because of Apple’s market presence, we expect many Android OEMs will include this feature moving forward.Read also: Google is following Apple’s lead, but is that the right move?
UK
China has already invested heavily in snooping against its own citizens.This is a modal window.No compatible source was found for this media.Privacy may be an alien concept in a surveillance state, yet anytime it takes a further drastic step towards eliminating any figment of privacy, we are still surprised.China is amplifying its surveillance capabilities to unprecedented levels and it is now trying to gain access to apps that have end-to-end encryption.The country has now passed a law that will allow it to regulate cryptography in both government and private use data starting January 1, 2020.
UK
Now that Castle Rock is building a multi-season journey of spooks, the broader goals of its seasonal storytelling are becoming clear.There’s hints of an anthology here, but also gestures toward a broader story, a unifying theory of scary Stephen King stuff.How do the creators plan to weave those threads together?And what do they have to do with the arrival of Annie Wilkes?Ahead of the second season of the show (which doesn't yet have a release date in the UK), check out this new featurette, via Bloody Disgusting, teasing the answers to some of the above questions and going into the show’s philosophy of building an authentically King-like world.In particular, hear the creative staff behind the show talk about the trick of slowly introducing casts of unrelated characters only to pull them together into an overarching horrific storyline, which is absolutely a common King speciality.
US
Lucha Libre is for everyone.A few weeks ago, as I bought tickets for a Lucha Libre show in Mexico City on Ticketmaster, I didn't know what to expect.And there was that Jack Black movie I didn't see?Lucha Libre appeals to all ages, despite offering attendees a waterfall of booze, and all walks of life — ticket costs are low, and don't go very high.Here's a closer look at that mural:A plaque commemorates the founder of the CMLL, Don Salvador Lutteroth Gonzalez, and the 80-plus-year legacy of Mexican wrestling he left behind.
UK
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US
Automakers from McLaren to Chevrolet have developed virtual concept cars for Gran Turismo video games under the Vision Gran Turismo banner, and now Jaguar is jumping on the bandwagon.Unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, the Jaguar Vision Gran Turismo Coupe concept is an electric sports car that will be available for download in Gran Turismo Sport by the end of the month.Despite the car’s futuristic look, Jaguar claims the Vision Gran Turismo Coupe’s exterior design was inspired by two iconic race cars from the 1950s — the C-Type and D-Type.So is the interior, which features augmented reality glass that can show information about the outside world and warn the driver of obstacles, according to Jaguar.The virtual concept car also has an artificial intelligence assistant called KITT-E and 3D image displays.Jaguar is actually working on 3D tech for its real-world production cars, although it’s not quite ready for prime time.
China
Ride-hailing company Gojek said on Thursday it was still preparing for a future initial public offering despite a change in leadership structure after its founder and former CEO Nadiem Makarim stepped down to join Indonesia President Joko Widodo’s cabinet.Makarim has helmed Gojek since 2010 and steered the firm to a US$10 billion valuation.Following his departure, Gojek president Andre Soelistyo and co-founder Kevin Aluwi will become Gojek’s co-CEOs.Makarim will remain a passive shareholder in the company.At a press briefing on Thursday, Soelistyo said there was no set date for the IPO, adding that the company’s aim was to derive half its user base from the international market and half from home market Indonesia.“We are already moving along with the journey and processes that we need to improve, to be able to be at that world class standard that global public companies are at, so we’ve done a lot of things in building better governance,” he said.
US
I love the original Watchmen graphic novel so much, it's the one comic I always lend to friends -- and never get back.So now, I couldn't be more excited for a new chapter of the Watchmen story in the shape of a TV adaptation on HBO, debuting this Sunday, Oct. 20.Damon Lindelof, the man behind Lost, is in charge, and it could end up being the love letter to the comic fans like me have been waiting for.Created by writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons and colorist John Higgins in 1986, the Watchmen comic had a huge impact as part of a wave of grown-up comics that changed the idea of what comics could be, and paved the way for today's comics-obsessed era.The beautiful graphics, gritty storyline and engaging characters all add up to the ultimate dark and reflective antihero comic readers weren't used to seeing.Even as a kid I was bored with the usual antics of Superman, Spider-Man and Wonder Woman.
US
The Pixel 4 comes with a new design and square camera element all belted in neatly around the sides by a slick-looking aluminum band.There's Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, and the phones are rated IP68 for dust and water resistance.Like the OnePlus 7 Pro and last year's Asus ROG phone, this screen refreshes 90 times a second, making graphics and animations look smooth and text appear sharp.So if you're reading an email message, the display might drop down to refresh rate of 60 times a second, but if you're scrolling through Instagram it might bump up to 90 times a second.But it's what's above the screen that is really impressive.If you're listening to Spotify, for example, you can swipe through the air above the Pixel to skip to the next track.
US
“Beats' Solo Pro is redesigned with sustainability, simplicity, and noise-canceling tech in mind.”Active noise-canceling doesn't feel jarringUses recycled materials, comes with a felt caseBattery life isn't as high as competitors with ANCBeats’ most popular line of headphones is getting an update.Sleek is the word I’d use to describe the Beats Solo Pro.
China
Indian digital payment company Paytm is said to be nearing a deal to secure $2 billion in new funding from investors including Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial and Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group, according to Bloomberg.Why it matters: India has become fintech’s fastest-growing market, overtaking China’s.The country’s digital payments market is expected to worth around $1 trillion in 2023.While still nascent compared with China’s $5 trillion industry, international players including Facebook and Google—blocked from China by regulators—are showing interest.Ant Financial has been eyeing investment opportunities in Southeast Asia to increase its global footprint and boost revenues.Details: Talks regarding the deal are reportedly in their final stages but the terms still could change, according to an unnamed source.
US
Over the past few months, high-profile incidents in the United Kingdom — home to one of the most-surveilled societies in the world — have forced people to consider how facial recognition will be used in the country.Global proliferation of facial recognitionAs a symbol for the fear of technology trampling human rights, The Terminator‘s got serious competition.Its use in Hong Kong to identify protestors and in Western China to find and persecute Uighur Muslims has inflamed fears of dystopian levels of surveillance that you cannot avoid without hiding your face from the world.In recent months, we’ve learned more about high-profile deployments by police in South Wales and London, at King’s Cross train station in London, and even in job interviews.“In AI ethics conversations, if you follow the money trail you find Google and Facebook money in much of the ethics community, so we think it’s quite important to be independent from private sector funding,” Kind said.
China
The Redmi K20 Pro (Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro globally) cameras has already been tested by DxOMark.Testing its photographic and video quality gave it an overall score of 102 points, which puts him in a respectful 16th in the current ranking of this site.For the price it costs slightly under $400, joining this ranking is quite positive.It achieves a modest 89 points in video, but in photography, it reaches an impressive 108 points.Exposure and Autofocus are camera strengthsThe strengths of this model, according to the test, are autofocus, exposure and even the colors produced in its images.
US
While meat-alternative companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are lighting up the grills in fast-food restaurants, other groups are looking at ways to grow actual meat in the lab.Israeli startup Aleph Farms is one of these.Aleph Farms partnered with Russian laboratory 3D Bioprinting Solutions and two US companies for an International Space Station experiment on Sept. 26 that involved using a 3D bioprinter to assemble cells harvested from live animals into a small piece of muscle tissue.The ISS astronauts won't be feasting on ribeye tonight, though.This experiment was just a proof of concept.But if you can successfully make meat in space, you could conceivably make it almost anywhere on Earth, too.
Sweden
Betaltjänsten Paypal hoppar av Facebooks satsning på en ny kryptovaluta.Paypal säger att företaget avstår från fortsatt deltagande i kryptovalutans stödorganisation Libra Association för att i stället satsa på sin kärnverksamhet."Vi stöder fortfarande Libras strävan och ser fram emot en fortsatt dialog om vägar att samarbeta i framtiden", heter det i uttalandet.Tidningen Wall Street Journal rapporterade i veckan att flera storaktörer som Visa och Mastercard och andra som tidigare anslutit sig till satsningen på en ny kryptovaluta, libran, överväger att lämna projektet.Facebooks plan var att lansera den nya kryptovalutan till sommaren 2020.Såväl myndigheter som politiker har dock bemött projektet med stor skepsis och i Frankrike och Tyskland har det talats om ett regelrätt förbud mot libran i EU.
US
Big Mouth, Netflix's unflinchingly, raunchy coming-of-age series, is officially streaming its third season.The show's Twitter page announced the news Friday.You can binge all 10 episodes now.It looks like the show will continue to push limits while dealing with real-life issues like puberty, friendships, sex, first relationships, breaking up, parents, divorce, school and more.The cast from season one and two is returning.Fans can expect Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Maya Rudolph and Jordan Peele to lend their voices again.
UK
Broadcasters and movie studios alike are starting to explore the huge potential of modern technologies to bring a new generation of filmed entertainment to our TV sets and cinemas.How is deep learning different from other machine learning algorithms?The computer may be told exactly what to do in any given situation, in which case it hasn't learned anything.For example, it may be shown frames with unwanted grain as input, and have its output compared to clean frames.The game is far too complex for human instructions to create a viable opponent, and a single layer neural network would have never been enough.Deep learning for TV and Filmed Entertainment
Sweden
four years ago, the north of Europe, more stringent emission legislation, however, many of the companies apparently ignored the fact that measures such as switching to low-sulphur fuel is used.Chalmers measured the emissions using a new method to 2017, and then to one in ten of all ships cheat.It is a controversial solution to the more stringent emission standards.A review conducted by the british newspaper "The Independent" notes that the companies have spent several billion to install so-called scrubbers.open the scrubbers pass the exhaust gases through a water spray which removes svavelföreningarna.Also, if the water can be purified to a certain extent, as it contains heavy metals and other cancer-causing substances).
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